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Hembrillo Canyon

  5.0 ( 1 ) Favorite


16.3 mile 26.2 kilometer out and back
0% Singletrack


Ascent: 1,144' 349 m
Descent: -1,144' -349 m
High: 5,134' 1,565 m
Low: 4,122' 1,256 m


Avg Grade: 3% (2°)
Max Grade: 28% (15°)


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Trail shared by Christopher Bare


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A remote, scenic, and historic ride through generally inaccessible country.

Christopher Bare

Electric Mountain Bikes Unknown

Features -none-


This is a historic ride on old Jeep roads that will take you deep into the San Andreas Range where you'll be able to experience the rich history of the southwestern United States while appreciating the beautiful vistas that the wide open terrain of this area has to offer.

Need to Know

Access to this ride is strictly prohibited. To take part in this adventure you must sign up for the ride when it is offered through White Sands Missile Range official channels. See the attached link. Once signed up, you'll receive specific instructions. Generally, on the day of the event, riders will meet outside of the small Missile test Range gate off of I-70 at 6:30 a.m. for processing and briefings. Following the briefings, riders will convoy out to the starting area. No photography is allowed until riders are off the main roads and riding into the canyon.

Watch out for large groups of oryx (a large Persian sheep) on the roads and also watch out for rattlesnakes.


After arriving at the parking area, you'll be directed to begin the ride into Hembrillo Canyon. This out-and-back ride will consist of mainly climbing on doubletrack on the way into the canyon and descending on the way out of the canyon. The ride is supported and there will be several water and snack stations along the route as well as trail guides set up in ATV’s as well as flagging to mark the path to follow.

Upon entering a collection of Cottonwood trees, you'll see Apache petroglyphs on the canyon wall. See the photograph for additional details. Further into the canyon, Mogollon pictographs can be seen as well. Finally, you'll end at the battle site, and there is a short hiking trail that you can take to view a sign that provides details about the battle that took place here in the 1800’s.

Once you are satisfied, turn around and bomb down back to the parking area. A meal will greet you upon finishing and once all have been accounted for, you'll be escorted off the military instillation. Don’t forget to pick up a t-shirt before heading home as it, in addition to the meals, are covered by the fee you paid.

History & Background

This area is historically significant as the ride ends at the Hembrillo battlefield where the largest battle of the Apache-Calvary Victorio war occurred in April 1880. Additionally, the ride will take you past several Native American (Apache and older Mogollon) petroglyphs and pictographs. Subject matter experts typically accompany the ride, so they will be a valuable asset if riders want to know more about the history of this area.

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Family Friendly, ADA Accessible, Features, Electic Mountain Bikes Allowed


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in New Mexico


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Apache petroglyphs off the side of the road on nearby rock walls. These have been dated to the 1500’s. This is known because a horse is depicted, indicating a culture that was post Spanish contact.
Oct 21, 2017 near Holloma…, NM
“Bloody hands” pictographs likely created by the earlier Mogollon cultures that lived throughout New Mexico prior to Spanish contact.
Oct 21, 2017 near Holloma…, NM


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